Monthly Archives: December 2010

Santa Fe Neighborhoods – Focus on Museum Hill

Santa Fe New Mexico Living– Focus on Museum Hill 

View from the Wheelwright Museum front terrace

View from the Wheelwright Museum front terrace

Santa Fe has four world class museums located on Camino Lejo on the southeast side of town in an area called Museum Hill.  If you limit your museum touring in Santa Fe to the cultural riches around the Plaza, you’ll be depriving yourself of a chance to view some wonderful art as well as magnificent views of the mountains.  Travel between Museum Hill and the Plaza is simple and convenient. Take the “M” line operated by Santa Fe Trails, which runs 7 seven days a week and costs adults $1 each way.  Departures start from the Downtown Transit Center on Sheridan Street (one block off the Plaza) for a short 18-minute ride.  Click here to see a map of the route.  Call 505 955-2001 for the most current information about schedules and fares.  You can spend endless hours exploring the wide variety of art in these collections. Continue reading

Santa Fe Neighborhoods – Focus on the Old Las Vegas Highway Corridor Neighorhoods

Old Las Vegas Highway Corridor is located southeast of the Plaza on Old Las Vegas Highway and extends to Highway 285 South.  It is near the main hospital, St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, and many retail services.

Lots in this area, nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, average between two and a half to approximately five acres depending on the community.  Although this area is only minutes from town, its feel is decidedly rural, and its views to the south and west are more expansive. Many horse properties are in this area and horse trails weave around many of those properties.  You can find a beautiful home with privacy and views here.  Neighborhoods here include Arroyo Hondo Vistas, Double Arrow, Overlook, Sunlit Hills, La Barberia, and Seton Village.  Housing is not uniform or cookie-cutter and the styles range from modest homes to elegant territorial and pueblo ranchettes.  Arroyo Hondo, in particular, is known for its superior horse properties.

If you would like to know more about any of the homes for sale in the Old Las Vegas Highway Corridor neighborhoods, contact me, Karen Meredith, by e-mail or at (505) 603-3036.  For a free market analysis of how much your Old Las Vegas Highway Corridor neighborhood home is worth, click here.

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Santa Fe Market Report
Featuring The OLVH Corridor

Active SFAR Listings
All Santa Fe Listings (12/02/10)
Residential: 2428
Residential Land: 1417
Farm & Ranch: 108
Commercial Land: 75
Multi Family: 33
Commercia Buildings: 183
Live/Work: 16

The OLVH Corridor Snapshot

  Average DOM: 303*
  Average Listing Price: $703,163*
     Average Listing Price Per Sq.ft: $229*
  Average Selling Price: $642,970*
     Average Selling Price Per Sq.ft.: $209*
  % of List Price: 91%*

^Sold (08/19/09-08/20/10) *Sold (12/03/09-12/02/10)

Days on Market (DOM)
The OLVH Corridor – Residential Sold*

Selling Price: % of List Price
The OLVH Corridor – Residential Sold*

MLS Comparison, Sales Year-To-Date
The OLVH Corridor – Residential – 2009 v. 2010 (1/1/09-12/02/09) – (1/1/10-12/02/10)


Journalist Willa Cather gained fame with fictional account of state’s past

Photo by Nickolas Muray, Courtesy Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA), No. 111734

By Jason Strykowski |

Posted: Saturday, December 04, 2010  This article was syndicated from the New Mexican, click here for a text of the original article.
It took a journalist to write one of New Mexico’s most famed pieces of fictional literature. And, not surprisingly, Willa Cather focused on Santa Fe history.

Cather was born in 1873 in Virginia and moved to Nebraska. She spent much of her youth and early career as a newspaper editor and writer, penning articles for numerous publications. She also wrote dozens of shorts stories before publishing her first novel in 1912.

Cather’s next few books, including the classics O Pioneers! and My Ántonia, turned her into one of America’s most noted authors. One of her books, in fact, may even have inspired sections of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s epochal The Great Gatsby.

Perhaps her most respected novel, Death Comes for the Archbishop, grew out of Cather’s fascination with New Mexico and the Southwest. Since childhood, Cather had devoured magazine articles on the Southwest, with its unique landscape and characters. In 1925, by then a successful writer, Cather visited New Mexico to research “her priests” and their homes.

Cather threw herself wholeheartedly into her reading on real-life Catholic luminaries Jean-Baptiste Lamy, Antonio José Martinez and Joseph Machebeuf. Her research took her around the state as she visited Acoma, Taos, Alcalde, Abiquiú and the village of Lamy. In Santa Fe, she stayed at La Fonda, just feet from the cathedral where the real Lamy once toiled.

Even though she was still in the process of editing her last book, Cather returned to New Mexico a year later. This time she stayed with trendsetting New Mexican writer Mary Austin. Cather used Austin’s New Mexico cabin as a writer’s retreat before returning to the East Coast to finish the book in a surprisingly short period of time.

While writing, Cather took recorded history as mere suggestion, a dangerous decision in light of her use of real names. While she created fictitious pseudonyms for Lamy and Machebeuf, Martinez was represented in the novel under his actual name, as was the pulp hero Kit Carson. Cather also based much of the novel on inaccurate reports tied to these men.

Even without fictionalization, Jean-Baptiste Lamy’s life story seemed the stuff of legend. A French-born and trained priest, Lamy traveled to the United States while still in his youth. A decade after his arrival, the Vatican, hoping to take advantage of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, assigned Lamy to the newly created provisional diocese of New Mexico.

Lamy found numerous obstacles in Santa Fe. The clergy already installed in New Mexico refused to recognize the reorganization of the diocese or Lamy’s leadership. Several priests butted heads with Lamy repeatedly over issues such as clerical lifestyles and the institution of tithes. Lamy also took on a larger cross-section of the New Mexican populace as he attempted to disband the Penitentes. Dying in 1888, Lamy never actually witnessed the partial completion of, perhaps, his greatest accomplishment — the cathedral that still stands in the center of Santa Fe.

The conflict and racial overtones in Lamy’s history perfectly fueled Cather’s imagination. Through Lamy, Cather could explore the processes of cultural transformation, empire and colonization as New Mexico changed from a Mexican province to an American territory.

In the summer of 1927, the novel appeared in serial form. Knopf followed up that fall, releasing Death Comes for the Archbishop as a book. It met not only with popular interest, but also with critical acclaim. The American Academy of Arts and Letters presented Cather with the prestigious Howell’s Medal for the best American novel. More distinctions soon followed as Cather received honorary degrees from Yale, Columbia, the University of California at Berkeley and Princeton.

Before her death in 1947, Cather published two more novels and a compilation of short stories. Her final book, The Old Beauty and the Others was published just after her death.

Since its publication, Death Comes for the Archbishop has remained on the short list of classic American literature. Time magazine placed the book on its list of the 100 best English-language novels. The Modern Library ranks the book 61st on their catalog of 100 novels.

Santa Fe Neighbhorhoods – Focus on the Santa Fe Ski Area

Santa Fe New Mexico Living– Focus on the Ski Area

Entrance to Ski Santa Fe

Entrance to Ski Santa Fe

It is the time of year to brush off the ski equipment!  Ski Santa Fe will open December 10, 2010.  Many people are surprised to learn that Santa Fe, New Mexico, located in the southwestern U.S. desert, has a vibrant ski industry. Just 16 miles from the heart of Santa Fe’s historic district at the end of Hyde Park Road, Ski Santa Fe is nestled high in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains .  With a base area elevation of 10,350 feet, Ski Santa Fe boasts that it “is among the highest ski areas in the continental United States.” The resort has a 12,705 foot summit, 1,725 vertical feet of skiing, 7 lifts and 72 trails. There is something for every level of skier. The trails are evenly distributed with 20% rated easiest, 40% rated more difficult and 40% rated most difficult. The longest run is 3 miles long.

ski slope and tree (2)Each year local residents and visitors eagerly await the day that the lifts will be open. Average annual snowfall is 225 inches and the ski season can last from Thanksgiving weekend to early April depending on snow conditions.

The resort serves approximately 200,000 skiers annually and is important to the local economy. In mid November Ski Santa Fe announced that it planed to employ 400 workers this season, including lift operators, instructors, parking attendants, child caretakers and security workers.

For the most current snow conditions, base depth and how many lifts are operating, check the Ski Santa Fe.

For driving directions and a map from the Plaza to the Ski Santa Fe Resort.

For more winter sports, you can stop by Hyde Memorial State Park (740 Hyde Park Road), 8 miles northeast of the Santa Fe Plaza along Hyde Park Road where sledding, snowshoeing and cross country skiing opportunities are available. Click here for more information about one of New Mexico’s oldest state parks and a local favorite.

After a hard day of skiing or other winter activities, you may want to relax at Ten Thousand Waves (3451 Hyde Park Road), a unique mountain spa resort approximately 3.5 northeast of the Santa Fe Plaza along Hyde Park Road that feels like a Japanese onsen. They offer hot tubs, saunas, cold plunges, massages and many other body work treatments as well as 13 hotel suites. Click here for more information about their packages and rates.

Homes for Sale in Santa Fe along Hyde Park Road

Beautiful homes at all price points line Hyde Park Road, the main road from the Plaza to Ten Thousand Waves, Hyde Memorial State Park and the ski slopes. Here are 3 homes currently listed with Prudential Santa Fe Real Estate for your consideration.

Lise Knouse's house$700,000 1234 La Entrada, Santa Fe, NM 87501 Cozy, Santa Fe style, passive solar home, nestled amongst the trees, 5 minutes from the Plaza and walking distance to Ten Thousand Waves! Aside from the comfortable, two bedroom main house, this property has a separate attached guest suite, as well as a detached guest house. Both guest suites are equipped with luxurious bathrooms, fireplaces and kitchenettes. Live in the main house, rent the guest suites or enjoy a separate office and guest house. Listing Agent, Lise Knouse.

Prieto House 2$1,095,000 2020 Senda De Andres, Santa Fe, NM 87501 Nestled in the Sangre foothills with lovely Jemez and Sandia views this new construction features classic Santa Fe pueblo style architecture. Entertaining spaces and master bedroom are on one level and two additional bedrooms are privately located on the lower level. Top of the line appliances and finish levels. Listing Agents, Lumley/Stedman/Kehoe/Prieto, the Efrain Prieto Group.

Myra-Anne House$1,549,000 1008 South Summit Ridge, Santa Fe, NM 87501 Superb mountain views from every room of this totally custom home built by John Wolf. Custom tiles in bathrooms & steam shower in master bath. Anasazi keyhole fireplace for the living room. Oversized cabinetry. Large walk-in pantry is a chef’s delight. Three ovens and large island workspace. Great house for entertaining inside as well as on the 1000 SF portals. NO STEPS in this house. Owner/NM Real Estate Broker. Listing Agent, Barbara Blackwell.

If you are interested in seeing any of the above homes or any other homes near the Santa Fe ski area, contact me, Karen Meredith, Prudential Santa Fe Real Estate, or call me at 505.603.3036. If you own a home near the ski area and would like a free comparative market analysis to see how much it is worth, click here to contact me , Karen Meredith or call me at 505.603.3036.

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Santa Fe New Mexico Living – Winter Recipes

Apple season lasts a long time at the Farmers Market!  Here is another easy and delicious winter salad recipe, this time using apples and celery:

Celery and Apple Salad (from Cuisine Economique by Jacques Pepin):

  • 6 ribs celery (about 8 ounces) as pale and green and tender as possible
  • 2 medium Red Delicious apples (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 ½  tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  1. Trim the celery ribs to remove the leaves and peel ribs with a vegetable peeler if the outer surface is tough or fibrous.  Wash and cut the ribs into 2-inch pieces.  Then press the pieces flat on the table and cut them into thin strips.  You should have about 2 ½ cups.  Place in bowl.
  2. Wash apples thoroughly in warm water, scraping them slightly with a sharp knife to remove any surface wax.  Stand the apples upright on a table and cut each one vertically into ½ inch think slices, stopping only when you reach the core, pivoting the apple and cutting again until only the core remains.  Discard the cores, stack the apple slices together and cut them into ½ inch strips.
  3. Add the apple strips to the celery in the bowl and add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl.  Mix well.

Panel winnows down applicants for folk art market

Anne Constable | The New Mexican
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010.  This article was syndicated from The New Mexican, click here for the original article.

2011 Algerian Berber Culture jewelry application from Karim Oukid Ouksel

Judy Espinar, a founder of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, called this event the “heart of the market.”

It is the three days in late November when a selection committee meets to evaluate the hundreds of applications received from around the globe and choose those artists who will be invited to Santa Fe for the popular July event.

The process ensures the work for sale is authentic and of the highest quality, and, Espinar said, “Without it we would not have succeeded.”

The stakes are high for these artists, some of whom have never left their villages. Earnings from the market can — and have — meant they can send children to school, pay for health insurance or pipe fresh drinking water into their communities. In one case, an Afghan co-op used some of its market revenue to train female beggars in traditional embroidery, enabling them to earn income safely at home, and, they say, removing them from the streets of Kandahar.

Being chosen for the market — the largest of its kind in the world — is also a validation of the artists’ skills and the value of their work in preserving and sustaining the culture of their communities.

This year, 403 artists or artist cooperatives submitted applications. Under the direction of Suzanne Seriff, a committee of six experts, many with doctoral degrees, evaluated them, looking for a geographic balance, a wide choice of genres and prices, and a 60-40 ratio of new artists to returning ones.

2011 application from Ukraine: pottery by Golovko Mykhailo

The market is always looking for new work to keep visitors interested in coming back, while continuing to present the art of masters that marketgoers expect. Looking to enhance the visitors’ experience, it also has a preference for applications in which the artist plans to be present in Santa Fe, as opposed to a dealer or nonprofit representative.

Some applications are rejected outright because of shoddy workmanship or because the committee does not believe the work would sell here. “Quality and marketability are essential,” Seriff said. “If we thought something would not sell, we would not approve bringing it here.”

Applications are also turned down because the design, materials or form are not traditional. The market doesn’t accept Western clothing, even if it is made from traditional textiles, or trinkets like cell phone covers or eyeglass holders, although it does approve of items like place mats and table runners that might originally have had other uses.

Other times it’s a close call. One application from Kyrgyzstan was still being discussed Sunday. The design (the sacred symbol of mother deer) of the shawl was expertly rendered in felt, sandwiched on either side of a layer of silk cloth.

“It’s a delicate balance,” market director Charlene Cerny said. “We don’t want to put folk art under a bell jar.”

But a company that is keeping indigo dyeing alive in a Malinese village — accepted last year after a long debate — was rejected for 2011 because the artisans are now using linen cloth that they didn’t weave themselves.

So too a Nigerian painter. “I’d love to have his work on my wall, but it’s not traditional art,” said Diana Baird N’Diaye, a committee member from the Smithsonian Institution.

One of the first-time applications that was accepted came from Association Sahalandy, a group of silk weavers in the highlands of Madagascar who make hand-woven, naturally dyed scarves, bed covers, tablecloths and other products, ranging from $35 to $150.

2011 applicant from Indonesia: Ni Wayan Widiarmini; beaded baskets

A former Peace Corps volunteer from the area, who is now a small-enterprise development volunteer, helped the women prepare their application, which requires a detailed description of how the folk art is made. Their process is laborious.

“First, cocoons are sliced at one end to remove the pupa. They are then turned inside out and stacked on top of each other over a peg. Once bundled, they are boiled for a couple of hours and then rinsed. Afterward, the silk is thrown onto brick walls and dried in the sun. The clumps are then pulled into large balls to be spun.” The yarn is then dyed using tree bark (deep red), mud (black) mushrooms (yellow) and other natural resources.

Some applicants might lose out because their category is particularly competitive — African baskets, for example — but the odds are better in other genres, like ceramics, wood and leather, which are more threatened around the world.

Although giving young people a reason to continue to make traditional folk art is a “huge issue” for the market, in the words of Baird N’Diaye, applying is not easy — nor is it meant to be. Artists must complete an eight-page form (in triplicate) and submit five to 10 high-quality, clearly labeled photographs of each distinct type of folk art they would be bringing to market, as well as three photographs of each artist who will attend. Some applications are fairly slick, others are handwritten in broken English. In Kyrgyzstan, a travel agent supplements her living by helping people prepare the forms.

Applicants are responsible for obtaining their own passports and visas — although the market provides them with advice on how to go about it — and arranging to ship their artwork.

“They have to be ambitious enough to get here,” noted Cerny. “But a wide variety of people somehow find a way.”

The application includes a section on artistic and cultural information in which applicants are asked to explain how they learned to make the folk art, its history, how it represents their community’s cultural traditions and how the work is used in daily life or for special occasions. The market also asks applicants to tell their personal stories and how art fits into their lives.

Each member of the committee does the initial review of applications from a particular part of the world. But the final decisions are made by majority vote (consensus was found to be too difficult) of the entire committee.

The scorecard, or matrix, rates the applications on artistic quality, marketability, traditionality of form or final product, and traditionality of design or materials, as well as on whether the production process is rooted in tradition, how the artistic knowledge was acquired and the community use of the item. There’s also a place to check whether the artist has a compelling story.

Rejection letters explain the reason the applicant was turned down but invite artists to contact Seriff for a more complete explanation. Many do, she said.

So far, the 2011 market looks new and fresh, said Espinar, who observed the process last weekend. And she expects that will continue for a long time to come because “we have the world. There’s no end to it.”

2011 dates: July, 8, 9, 10

2010 Market Facts

132 artists from 50 countries

22,167 people attended

$2.1 million in artists’ sales

$13.5 million in local spending by visitors (outside of Market)

$16.1 million estimated total economic impact

1,600 volunteers

Artist applications

2011: 403

2010: 361

New artists:

2011: 57 percent

2010: 48 percent

Artists requesting financial assistance:

2011: 31 percent

2010: 28 percent

Countries represented:

2011: 63; 2010: 63

Countries with most applicants:

2011: Uzbekistan, 66; Mexico, 45

2010: Uzbekistan, 71; Mexico, 43

Artist Selection Committee

Suzanne Seriff, senior lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin

Diana Baird N’Diaye, Smithsonian Institution, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Africa

Barbara C. Anderson, director of museum resources, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, Mexico

Marsha C. Bol, director of the Museum of International Folk Art, Latin America

Felicia Katz-Harris, curator of Asian and Middle Eastern collections, Museum of International Folk Art, Asia, Middle East, Europe

Melinne Owen, artist, volunteer, China, Tibet, Mongolia, Uzbekistan

Santa Fe Real Estate News – Eldorado at Santa Fe

Santa Fe Market Report
Featuring The Eldorado Area

Active SFAR Listings
All Santa Fe Listings (11/18/10)
Residential: 2512
Residential Land: 1443
Farm & Ranch: 106
Commercial Land: 77
Multi Family: 30
Commercia Buildings: 180
Live/Work: 17

The Eldorado Area Snapshot

  Average DOM: 168*
  Average Listing Price: $394,339*
     Average Listing Price Per Sq.ft: $186*
  Average Selling Price: $377,416*
     Average Selling Price Per Sq.ft.: $178*
  % of List Price: 96%*

^Sold (08/09/09-08/08/10) *Sold (11/19/09-11/18/10)

Days on Market (DOM)
The Eldorado Area – Residential Sold*

Selling Price: % of List Price
The Eldorado Area – Residential Sold*

MLS Comparison, Sales Year-To-Date
The Eldorado Area – Residential – 2009 v. 2010 (1/1/09-11/18/09) – (1/1/10-11/18/10)

If you would like to know more about any of the homes for sale in the Eldorado neighborhood, contact me, Karen Meredith, by e-mail or at (505) 603-3036.  For a free market analysis of how much your Eldorado neighborhood home is worth, click here.

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